ALL MODAL VERBS HAVE THE FOLLOWING FEATURE IN COMMON:
They are always followed by the infinitive without to.
They are the same for all pronouns
they do not need auxiliaries. They take direct negative and question forms.
they never combine with another modal verb.
modal = expressing mood.
mood = a way to express the attitude of the speaker to what is being said.
to express ability or lack of ability in the present or future, to request permission I can see you at 3:00 p.m. tomorrow. Can you manage that? They cannot (can't) dance Can I open the window You can use my office You cannot (can't) smoke here
to express possibility, to request for permission. I may be home May I use your pen? May we have a look?
strong possibility in the present of future It may happen again She may not accept the offer
a possibility in the present or in the future. It may happen again She might not accept the offer (we do not use could in a negative for possibility.
a possibility in the past (followed by have done), He might have missed his train He could have missed his train (but not in the negative I might not have managed to convince her. May can also be used to show a possibility in the past, but is less common that might and could
options, possibility, ability in the past I could go to her party if I wanted to
to express obligation, to express strong believe, necessity, logical conclusion I must go now. She must be over 90 years old.
go before the noun. my, you, his, her, its, our, your, their. This is my car
go after the after the noun. my, your, his, her, its,our, your, their The car is mine
come after either a verb or a preposition. me, you, him. her, it, us, you, them. She always writes e-mails to us
are used when the complement of the verb is the same as the subject. myself, yourself , himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves. He hurt himself.
is used as substitute for proper and common nouns. I, you,he,she,it,we,you, they
John, Mary, England,London, Ford, Sony, McDonalds, January Sunday, War and Peace, Titanic
man, boy, woman, girl, country, town, company, shop, restaurant, month, day of the week, book, film
should, supposed to
to give advice, to request or offer, in if- sentences. You should stop smoking. Would you like a cup of tea? If I were you, I would say sorry
Imagining I would go to her party if she invited me
They have no -s in the third person singular (he, she, it).
She might go to class.
Most modal verbs, except for ought, are followed by the verb without to.
Gallaudet should build a new computer center.
Modal verbs have no infinitiveor -ing form.
My teacher can sign well.
They make questions and negative forms without using do/did:
May I see that? / You mustn't shout.
Note that some modal verbs appear to have past tense forms (could, should, might), but these are not usually used with a past meaning. One exception is could which, when talking about ability, is used as a past form of can:
I could run a long way when I was younger.
Most modal verbs can be used in some of their meanings with a perfect infinitive to talk about the past:
I may have seen him yesterday. You should have told me last week.
Subject + modal + second verb. (Never add -s, -es, -ed, or -ing to the second verb.)
I + can + sleep six hours tonight. I + couldn't + work last night.